As the weather warms and we await our Covid vaccinations, fresh berries are a delicious way to boost both mood and immunity. There are many health benefits associated with berries; they’re high in fiber, and rich in vitamins, minerals (C, K, Manganese) and antioxidants.
Berries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, ‘one of the greatest antioxidants we have in the natural world’ says Dr. Susan Brown, PhD Director at the Center For Better Bones. Vitamin C, the third most popular supplement in the United States as stated by CBS News, strengthens white blood cells (our immune system), to go out and fight free radicals, and protects them from oxidative damage Brown adds. Studies show that ‘Vitamin C may play an important role in preventing or reducing anxiety and improve mood as well’ adds Jenn LaVersa RD. LaVersa is the nutritional expert over at Naturipe, a partnership of berry growers across the globe, focused on supplying the best produce possible.
The recommended daily amount of Vitamin C for adults is 70-90mg. Just one cup of strawberries for example, contains about 128mg of Vitamin C! A 500mg daily supplement is recommended for those concerned about deficiency, but you do not want to exceed 2,000mg/day.
And the benefits of berries don’t stop there. Berries are also rich in Polyphenols, specifically the antioxidants Quercetin and Anthocyanin. Clinical studies show, that Quercetin’s anti-inflammatory properties may prove effective in warding off Covid-19 states LaVersa. ‘Anthocyanin, the antioxidant responsible for color in berries, also works to protect them from predators’ adds Laversa. Studies show that Anthocyanin also strengthens our immunity against both environmental and dietary toxins. Not all berries are created equal however, ‘organic produce without the aid of chemical pesticides, produce higher levels of the antioxidant Anthocyanin, which is needed to ward off predators’ adds LaVersa.
Here’s a great recipe to incorporate berries into your diet. Interested in learning how to bake decadent and delicious plant-based desserts? It’s easy! Join me on The Broiled Grapefruit Cooking Show at the Plant Based Network! Download their free app today to access a wealth of information on how to live life more healthfully! Take care and stay well.
Mixed Berry Smoothie
-1 cup plain Hemp milk, unsweetened
-1 cup frozen mixed berries
-1 ½ tablespoons Chia seeds
-1 tablespoon Agave syrup (optional)
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)
-1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
Pour the Hemp milk into the blender jar. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass and enjoy!